Was this 48 star a WWII KIA funeral flag?

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Windir, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Windir

    Windir New Member

    We have a 48 star cotton, brass grommet flag measuring approx. 76"x 40" that belonged to my late grandmother, whose first husband was killed in france on july 5, 1944 as a member of the 8th Air Force Battle Group...We are fairly certain that this flag is a product stemming from incident since my grandmother kept it all those years, however our research had led us to wonder if its an actual coffin flag or not because of its smaller size as we've learned that burial flags are normally 9.5ft long...We did locate a photo online from WW2 that showed a smaller size flag over a casket, so we arent sure if this was issued to my grandmother apart from the actual coffin flag or what....There are no markings on the header of the flag, but it looks nearly exact in its design as the 50star valley forge vf-1 flag we found next to this one....the fabric of this 48star is a bit thinner however the grommets are exactly the same brass with a little "2" stamped on them.

    can anyone shed some light on what we have here, its potential value perhaps?
  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Windir,
    Welcome! I have heard stories and I think Nick, one of our contributors knows of a similar case where a smaller flag was substituted for the larger internment flag. From what I have read the Army Air Force in Europe was not prepared for the high death rate at that time which could have led to the shortage of the coffin size flags. Was your grandmother's husband's body recovered and returned? And if not, I wonder if they issued smaller flags to families that didn't need a coffin size flag? Not saying that was policy but just thinking. That would be something to research further. No matter the size, the flag is very special and represents virture we should all honor. I am curious why the fabric would be thinner. Could you post some photos of the flag? I can help you if you need them prep for uploading. I am also surprised that it has no markings. That is not bad and I have a flag that size without markings but I have seen more with them. Again if you can send some photos that would really help us access it further. At least one closeup of the material. As for the value I have seen $25 to $75 for that size depending on condition on ebay. You got to realize there were alot of 48 star flags made in the last century and they are still hanging out there. No pun intended. Again, I hope you can send some photos and if you need help let me know. Just click on my user name (upper left) and send me a message.
  3. coasterville

    coasterville Member

    40"x76" seems an odd size. Not the commercial 3x5 or 4x6 but also a bit off on the G-spec sizing. I have a cotton 48 star g-spec flag that I believe measures about 42"x80". In its case the header is simply stamped. "Valley Foege Flag Co." and the dimensions in a heavy black ink.

    I like the theory that the somewhat smaller flags may have Been substituted when there was no coffin and hence no Ned for the lager flag. At least it makes sense.
  4. Windir

    Windir New Member


    Hopefully that came out ok...im foggy on how best to resize photos....anyway, i dont believe it is a valley forge after further studying other flags, the only thing it has in common with valley forge are the brass eyelets...heres a photo of the stitching which i thought may help figure out who manufactured this flag. Thanks for all the replies, its been helpful so far and in reference to the fallen soldier, we found some excerpts online from a book that was written which claimed that this pilot crashed near chateauroux on that date...there's no one alive that we can ask whether there was an actual funeral for my grandmothers husband, so it would make sense that perhaps this flag was sent to her by the military, or something to that effect.

    Thanks again, and any further insight would be highly appreciated.
  5. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Windir,
    Wow, the flag looks really good. The grommet looks brand new! Although the photo is small it looks like it could be a wool flag. Does the material feel rougher than cotton?

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